Alongside our famous individualism, there's another ingredient in the American saga: a belief that we're all connected as one people.
If there's a child on the South Side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child. If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for their prescription drugs and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandparent. If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.
It is that fundamental belief -- that I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper -- that makes this country work. It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams and yet still come together as one American family.
"E pluribus unum." Out of many, one.
(from Keynote Address to the Democratic Convention, July 27, 2004)